frogs are found throughout the world.
In many places of the world, tree frogs are endangered
and protected. The
coqui tree frog has now come to Hawaii, accidentally transported
with plants from the Caribbean.
coqui frogs are non-poisonous and are small, about the size of a
quarter. They climb
up trees at night to sing their mating song, and later parachute
down from the trees using their webbed feet.
They are also interesting biologically in that they are
born as tiny frogs, instead of as tadpoles.
They are an important part of a tropical environment
since they control insect populations. They eat insect pests such as mosquitoes, leaf hoppers, tree
borers, centipedes, termites, and virtually anything smaller
than themselves, including other frogs.
Their consumption of insect pests makes them a benefit to
the environment, agriculture and human health.
from sea turtles and sea snakes, there are no native reptiles in
Hawaii, which has a unique environment due to its isolation from
other continents and its recent volcanic history.
There are also no native frogs.
However, one of the most beloved creatures in Hawaii is
the gecko, an alien reptile that has become a common sight and
sound throughout the Islands.
There is a large environmental niche for these
insect-eating reptiles, since Hawaii has many invasive insects
and few insect predators. In
fact, there are so many insects in Hawaii that there are plenty
to go around to feed the coqui frogs.
people fear that the frogs will increase in numbers
indefinitely, taking over the Islands.
However, just as the geckoís population came into a
natural balance, the same will happen with the frogs.
One fact about the frogs that will keep their numbers
down is their homing behavior.
This means that the coquis tend to stay in one area
unless moved elsewhere by people.
As the coqui population in one area grows, the insect
population declines, which limits frog numbers.
The frogs will even eat other coquis if hungry, further
reducing their numbers. And predators, such as birds and rats, will learn that coqui
frogs are good food, further controlling frog numbers.
Then there is disease, which naturally happens with
frog numbers will stabilize, as this new immigrant species
reaches a natural balance with the environment.
the Frog War? It
all has to do with the nighttime song of the frogs, which some
people donít like, and the desire by government and private
exterminators to have Federal money for killing and controlling
Visit our Coqui Sanctuary and Nature Preserve!